One of the founding thoughts I had when I started this blog was that I would try to avoid posting a lot of opinion based articles. I wanted it to be thoughtful, meditative, a calm place to retreat to when I wanted to think things over. So it was much to my chagrin when I caught myself doing just that this morning… writing my opinion about Facebook rants and petitions. I was literally ranting about ranting!
Thankfully, I caught myself just as I was about to sanctimoniously hit the publish button. So what stopped me?
This year I haven’t been a very good pagan. I’ve also not been a very good writer or author. A lingering depression has stunted all of those great plans for personal growth that I had made at the beginning of the year. It’s not something I’m ashamed of, I think most of us go through these periods in our life. I have a predisposition towards depressive moods though that has plagued me a lifetime. And sometimes it feels like the more I intend to move beyond the depressive states, the more they end up digging in. I believe that every one of us has our life’s work. Some nagging little task that tends to orient our personalities. Sometimes it can be worked through. Sometimes we have that one major thing that becomes our challenge. It’s not to say that negative things should own you, rather, you must develop an acute awareness around that issue so that it doesn’t.
None of this means that I’ve been a bad pagan or a bad writer. It has flavored my perception of myself though, making me pull those things closer to my identity. That is some dangerous, bad magick to cultivate.
So what about Samhain stopped me from posting that rant? The thought of turning within, about pulling strength from the ancestors, about listening to what the ancestors have to say to me right this instant. When the veil is thin and they are literally within reaching distance. That rant was reactionary, it was reacting to a set of circumstances that feel outside of my control. It was attempting to control my fears about the world I was perceiving, rather than uplifting my spirit and radiating the energy of the world I would like to live in.
That is a brilliant insight to gain and a step forward in cultivating my magickal self.
And now, a little detour from that conversation, I’d like to ask for your assistance. My practice has been heavy on ritual and meditation. I tend to sit for long periods at my altar meditating on manifesting an idea in my life. I also know that this is, in its own way, a totally legit form of magick work. However, I feel that because of a lack of more formal group study, I’m missing out on some of the fundamental training, spellwork and the like. Is there a book on magick and spells that you would recommend?
I hope that you have had a wonderful Samhain, blessings of the ancestors to you all.
Dayan M. November 2, 2014
Your insight is sharp and concise. I wish I had kept up my practice and skills in this area like they were a few years ago. No excuse (I don’t believe in them), but working in difficult schools with difficult students has forced me to change my approach to the world somewhat or get swamped in it… Eh, I should do better.
As for recommendations! I already recommended “The Earth Path” by Starhawk, though it’s not an introductory book at all. I also like “Natural Witchcraft” by Marian Green. Then there’s “Wiccan Warrior” by Kerr Cuhulain. All three of them are more on the philosophy/spiritual side, but also very grounded in reality… Which is probably a very necessary thing in today’s world.
Good luck, man! Be patient with yourself, too. Our lives have their own seasons of calm and activity. It’s usually best if we flow with them.
Oididio November 3, 2014
Thanks Dayan! I think patience with myself is one of the areas I need to cultivate the most. Great suggestions on books, looks like Marian Green’s is out of print, so I’ll get to go on a quest for it!